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Old 07-23-2008, 05:54 PM
Electra Guy Electra Guy is offline
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Default Which do you prefer? Copper or aluminum for electrical wiring.

Just a quick question. Copper or Aluminium. Which do you like better and why... My preference is copper even if its more expensive.
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Old 07-23-2008, 05:59 PM
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You must live someplace nice where the crack heads aren't stealing your copper fencing to pay for their habit. I'd give ya...1 time to replace it before you decided on something cheaper (if you lived in Atlanta) :P
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Old 07-23-2008, 06:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Electra Guy View Post
Just a quick question. Copper or Aluminium. Which do you like better and why... My preference is copper even if its more expensive.
My understanding is that copper is a better conductor than aluminum.
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Old 07-23-2008, 09:47 PM
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Aluminum has a disturbing tendincy to catch houses on fire over time. I don't think it is legal in many places anymore. Definately copper.
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Old 07-23-2008, 10:21 PM
Ratch Ratch is offline
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Al might not be good for wiring if it is not installed correctly, but I believe it has the highest electrical conductivity per density/mass/weight than any other element.

Ratch
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Old 07-23-2008, 11:36 PM
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If you're rich, Al (because it's light), plated in silver (better conductor than Cu).

There should be some speakers with some super light "wire" consisting of eg. carbon coated in silver. Surely it wouldn't hurt some of those companies to at least try...
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Old 07-24-2008, 12:13 AM
Electra Guy Electra Guy is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill_Marsden View Post
Aluminum has a disturbing tendincy to catch houses on fire over time. I don't think it is legal in many places anymore. Definately copper.
For the legal issue are you talking the actual house wiring or the service entrance conductors?
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Old 07-24-2008, 12:16 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by m4yh3m View Post
You must live someplace nice where the crack heads aren't stealing your copper fencing to pay for their habit. I'd give ya...1 time to replace it before you decided on something cheaper (if you lived in Atlanta) :P
Actually had a client have a two inch section of copper on their A/C unit stollen. Cost over $300 to fix.
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Old 07-24-2008, 12:49 AM
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Aluminum is a PITA to work with. Copper is much easier to pull in, to make precise bends in for terminations, and does not require anti-oxidant for terminating on copper buss bars. Sure, copper is harder to haul around, but that's why God invented apprentices.

Now, I'm sure some well meaning and well educated person will point out that aluminum is more malleable than copper and should therefore be easier to work with. This would indeed be true if the diameter of the aluminum didn't have to be nearly 30% more for the same ampacity. Bigger conductors also have more friction when being pulled through conduit, regardless of what's inside the insulation.

As has already been noted, maintenance is higher with aluminum. As has already been noted, theft rates are higher with copper.
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Old 07-24-2008, 01:52 PM
Electra Guy Electra Guy is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thingmaker3 View Post
Sure, copper is harder to haul around, but that's why God invented apprentices.
Oh, Man thats just evil!


Quote:
Originally Posted by thingmaker3 View Post
Now, I'm sure some well meaning and well educated person will point out that aluminum is more malleable than copper and should therefore be easier to work with. This would indeed be true if the diameter of the aluminum didn't have to be nearly 30% more for the same ampacity. Bigger conductors also have more friction when being pulled through conduit, regardless of what's inside the insulation.
HereHere, Copper is easier to pull.

Last edited by thingmaker3; 07-24-2008 at 01:59 PM. Reason: ...fixed quote tags
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Worksheet Wire types and sizes
Textbook Specific resistance : Physics Of Conductors And Insulators
Textbook Conductor ampacity : Physics Of Conductors And Insulators


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